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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 May 2015) . . Page.. 1721 ..

perceived as a competitor for a genuine adventure experience. The TRA’s conclusion was that aspiration and access posed the most significant barriers to Canberra demand. In terms of aspiration, while some consumers were simply not interested in the destination, many had other destinations higher on their list. Alternatively, they may have been before and do not feel the need to return.

This implies a lack of unique and compelling experiences to drive repeat visitation. For those consumers more interested in visiting Canberra, many were deterred by the high cost of flights. This has an impact on those considering Canberra as a short break destination, as other destinations are more competitive in terms of cost.

Just this week the TRA released their tourism investment pipeline. At the end of 2014 the tourism investment pipeline was $53.7 billion across the country. Yet the total tourism investment pipeline in the ACT was $130 million or about 0.4 of one per cent. The Chief Minister is very keen on the “We are two per cent of the population; we should have two per cent of the cake” measure. At that rate, we are at about a fifth of what we should have. Given what we have and the potential that we all know exists—

Mr Barr: We are 1.6 per cent of the national population.

MR SMYTH: Okay, 1.6; therefore we are only down by 75 per cent. It is interesting to see how the measure changes. When you are preaching something good you use the higher number; when it is not so good you attempt to go straight to the lower number. But that is okay.

The tourism investment monitor has a number of interesting points to it. It says that almost two-thirds—100 or 63 per cent—of the non-fleet projects in the tourism investment pipeline for 2014 were in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. There is a chart that looks at investment by sectors. There are three sectors and we appear in only one of those sectors.

In terms of aviation, there is no investment in the pipeline. Of course, the airport has just finished an enormous upgrade, which is acknowledged in the report. But in arts, recreation and business services, investment is listed as zero and for accommodation it has listed projects worth $130 million. We are lagging on that critical investment. Everyone is refreshing their product and we are competing for the experience market. It would appear in that regard that we are lagging greatly.

In terms of infrastructure, you simply have to look at one project, the convention centre. Business tourism, events tourism, is very important. Yet one of the qualifiers for us is that we have an out-of-date and inadequate convention centre. We know last year from the Canberra Convention Bureau that something like 90 conventions that would have come to the ACT did not come because we could not accommodate them. I note that on 7 May this year Melbourne announced another expansion to their facility down there. The announcement is headed: “Melbourne Convention Centre tops list of upgrades”. It states:

A planned major Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre expansion is tipped to draw tens of thousands of extra international visitors and create

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